He had just been left there, but now he has the best family.
One morning, a group of friends were walking their dogs through a park in Oklahoma when they saw a small puppy lying in the grass. He was very thin, and some patches of his fur were missing. He looked very sad. But as soon as he saw the group, he got up and started to follow them, and they knew they couldn’t just leave him behind.
The group made plans to take the little puppy right to the vet to get him checked out and scanned for a microchip, but he didn’t have one. They kept him for two weeks. During that time, they posted about him online and looked everywhere they could think of for someone who might be missing him. They found no one, so they started looking for his new family.
Katy and Jacob Bywater knew the people who found the puppy, and they were planning to get a dog themselves in the next few months. Their friends asked if they wanted to take the puppy, and even though they didn’t know anything about him, they had a feeling he was meant to be their dog.
They gave the puppy the name Strider and made him part of their family. At first, he was shy and didn’t seem to want to play much. It was almost as if he didn’t know how, as if no one had ever taken the time to teach him. He was about 10 weeks old at the time, and a vet said that he was probably a mix of red heeler and beagle, and that he wouldn’t get too big.
The couple was happy about this because they wanted a small dog, but as the weeks went by, it became clear that their little puppy wouldn’t stay small for very long.
“By the time he was 6 months old, he weighed almost 40 pounds, so we knew he wasn’t a beagle. We were sure he was a red heeler, though, because his body and color are like those of a red heeler,” Bywater told The Dodo. “We bought a DNA test kit online, and it showed that he is both a red heeler and a Great Pyrenees. We still like him, even after hearing this new information. He is still a member of our family. He weighs about 50 pounds now and is 8 months old. We don’t know how big he will get.”
Strider was a big surprise for his new parents, but they wouldn’t change a thing about him. Every day he seems to get bigger, and he also seems to be coming out of his shell more and more. He is no longer the scared little puppy that was found at the park. Now, he is a big, goofy dog who loves to run around and play with his family whenever he can.
“After I had him for a few weeks, he definitely came out of his shell,” said Bywater. “He plays so much that it’s hard to tell if his favorite thing to do is eat or play. He loves to run, play with any toy you give him, play tug of war, and fight on the couch or bed. He is spoiled and sleeps with us every night, and we wouldn’t give him up for anything.